New York: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that he would meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York.
The NATO members and regional rivals have been at odds over a host of maritime issues in the Mediterranean and migration. Mitsotakis said on Friday that Turkey was an important partner in tackling any new migration challenge to Europe and needed support.
Speaking at a news conference before departing for New York, Erdoğan said Turkey, which hosts some 4 million refugees – most of whom are Syrians – was “suffering the biggest burden and the heaviest downsides” of migration, adding that Turkey would take the necessary steps if its counterparts did not.
ERDOĞAN HEADS TO NEW YORK FOR 76TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Erdoğan is heading to New York on Sunday, where he will attend and speak at this year’s UN General Assembly.
In his speech to the UN body, Erdoğan said, “I will emphasize Turkey‘s strong support for multilateralism and the goal of establishing a fairer world order.”
Turkey has long championed a more representative UN Security Council-one bigger than its five current permanent members-using the slogan, “The world is bigger than five.”
“I will share our views on key issues on the UN’s agenda. From the General Assembly podium, I will express our approach to the challenges that threaten all humanity,” Erdoğan told reporters at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.
MESSAGE ON MIGRANTS
Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers and irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution, including Syrians and Afghans.
Turkey already hosts 4 million refugees, more than any country in the world, amid signs that a new wave of Afghan refugees might head towards Turkey and the EU.
On Afghanistan, Erdoğan said his country will never have “any hesitation” about sending humanitarian aid there.
“Turkey is nobody’s doorman on this,” he added, echoing earlier comments that Turkey cannot be expected to take in a new wave of migrants.
The 76th session of the General Assembly opened last week, and the high-level General Debate begins on Tuesday. Some 130 heads of state and government are expected to attend.